The Sensational Alex Harvey Band - Can't Get Enough unissued LP (1974)

I'll re-up several Alex Harvey (with and without Sensational Band) in the further days. I begin with this one. A miss but an interesting testimony about what a producer not understanding a band can ruin their best material (with few exceptions on this one, see the statement below). Fortunately, they issued the correct version officially. Catch it here.

In 1974, the band had to find a decent following to the great Next LP, in other words, something next, and more than anything else, had to find the studio formula that would help them to be more than the "best live band of the country" since the labels wanted their "products" to sell records to keep them signed. So an idea was to find a producer and the choice was Shel Talmy, a rather forgotten one in 1974, but a legend for being the man behind the Who and Kinks records in their beginnings. But actually, the sessions that were intended to give birth to an album called Can't Get Enough, would turn into a disaster, at least according to the band, since Shel Talmy didn't respect how they wanted to sound and turn them in a sort of "Louis Prima and his big band for the seventies" that mainly horrified Alex, who wanted to be part of the band and not the frontman. So everything was recorded again with another produced (their friend David Batchelor) and this gave the famous Impossible Dream. Everyone thought the tapes had been lost and destroyed but actually Shel Talmy had one, and this was released 3 years ago by MLP under the strange name of Hot City with a rather ugly cover sleeve. Strange since the album had a name, and for the cover sleeve, it was not difficult to imagine that the US cover for The Impossible Dream would have fitted for the LP (but I guess they didn't own the rights). Is this album a complete miss? Not really but sure it would have been a complete failure at the times, since in 1974 nobody would have received this sort of mix between old comedy and burlesque jazz, progressive music, and hard rock with a real enthusiasm. Just remember the way were received the 2 Preservation albums (from the Kinks) the same years. And it's true that Shel Talmy didn't catch the point in making SAHB sounded as a compact outfit when they were cultivating this particular dismembered approach of music. There are some good surprises however, such as "Long Haired Music" or "Tomahawk Kid", in versions rather better than on the official album. But all in all, it was not a success. But too much words. Enjoy this out-of-oblivion testimony of one of the greatest band in history. All pictures below are from a show in April 1974 and were taken by Dan Cuny.


algabal said...

Another amazing rarity that I didn't know existed. All hail dkelvin!

Sage said...

Thanks for posting this - you can't have enough of the SAHB.


Anonymous said...

A great post and a fantastic blog Thank You very much DK